Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Huge "gay marriage" battle in Illinois legislature. Statewide pro-family forces winning!

Currently stalled in House as fight for votes continues.

POSTED: March 8, 2013

The Illinois Legislature is just one step away from legalizing same-sex "marriage" in that state. But right now it's stalled, and the bill could likely be stopped. That's because the pro-family forces there are putting up one of the best statewide lobbying fights we've ever seen. They are considerably outdoing the homosexual groups in a state where nobody thought that bill could be halted.

Lines of people outside the Illinois State House coming to lobby on marriage bill.

As we write this, the bill has passed the Senate and is headed for the floor of the House, but is still several votes short of passage. The bill's supporters are holding it back while the fight for enough "pro-gay" votes continues. The Governor has said he will sign it if it gets to him. Right now we've heard the momentum is with the pro-family forces.

Of course, in Illinois -- home state of Obama -- anything can happen. The political establishment strongly backs same-sex "marriage." But pro-family activists, churches, and regular people from across the state are fighting incredibly hard. "We're being outspent, but we're outworking them," said Dave Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), the main pro-family group in the state and part of the coalition fighting this. [Note: All photos in this report are from IFI except where noted.]

Timeline: How the bill got to this point

How the "gay marriage" bill in Illinois got to this point should not surprise any of us. It's the same kind of legislative underhandedness that we've seen around the country:

  1. November 2010: Legislature passes Civil Unions Law. The Legislature passed a homosexual Civil Unions law in a cowardly lame-duck session, which was signed into law in January 2011. At the time, the homosexual lobby promised that this was all they wanted, and would not be asking for anything more. The politicians gave in, and the pro-family forces were unable to stop it. But soon afterwards, the homosexual lobby started planning for a full "marriage" bill.
  2. January 2, 2013: First try at "gay marriage" bill at end of lame-duck session. In early January, during the final days of the lame-duck session, the homosexual lobby suddenly introduced a full same-sex marriage bill as an amendment to another bill. The Chairman of the Illinois GOP shockingly quickly announced his support for it! It passed the Senate Executive Committee, but the pro-family forces fought hard and it died on the Senate floor as the session ended on January 9.
  3. January 9, 2013: Second try - "gay marriage" bill filed at beginning of new session. The day the new session started, the homosexual lobby filed House Bill 110, dishonestly titled the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.
  4. February 14, 2013: Senate passes it on Valentine's Day. The bill first went to the Senate, where the Senate President announced he was aiming for a vote on Valentine's Day -- as a poke at pro-family opponents. The bill had passed the Senate Executive Committee on Feb. 5, and on February 14 the Senate passed it by 34-21, along party lines except for one Republican who caved in. But the real battle was going to be in the House.
  5. February 26, 2013: Passes House Executive Committee 6-5 by vote of turncoat "pro-family" supporter. The Executive Committee has 7 Democrats and 4 Republicans. But two of the Democrats were publicly against "gay marriage." After a hard-fought public hearing with fierce lobbying, all of the Repubicans and one of the pro-family Democrats faithfully voted against the bill. But the other one, Rep. Louis Arroyo (D-Chicago) caved, and said that "as a professional courtesy to my colleagues" he would vote "yes" in committee, but "no" when it got to the floor. Had he voted honestly, it would have died there. (We've been told that the Hispanic congregations in his district are furious about it.)
  6. Currently: Stalled on the way to the House floor. Due to statewide hard-fought lobbying by pro-family forces, the gay marriage bill is still about 7-10 votes short of passage by the entire House. This has shocked the liberal establishment and homosexual lobby. The House leadership is holding it back as the battle for votes continues. The opposition is predicting a vote will take place next week, but there's no clear timetable.


We are very impressed with this. As we said, it looked like a freight train coming. But the statewide pro-family coalition in Illinois -- effectively being led by the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) along with the Catholic Conference of Illinois, hundreds of Protestant churches, and other groups -- has been outstanding.

They are up against the Democratic political establishment, including the Governor, other top elected officials, the Illinois homosexual lobby, and the Rahm Emanuel Chicago political machine. And of course, the media is completely on the radicals' side.

But across the state, the pro-family forces seem to be beating them back. Here are some of the highlights from the last several weeks:

• Strong letter from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

On January 1, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago sent a powerful letter to every priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago strongly opposing the "gay marriage" efforts, and asked that the letter be included in the parish bulletins. He also made it available to the press.

Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
[Chicago Tribune photo]

Cardinal George did not mince words. Quotes from the letter:

The Illinois General Assembly is being asked to consider a bill called "The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act." This is a deceptive title that ignores basic truths.

It is physically impossible for two men or two women to consummate a marriage, even when they share a deep friendship or love. Does this mean nature is cruel or that God is unfair? No, but it does mean that marriage is what nature tells us it is and that the State cannot change natural marriage.

Civil laws that establish "same-sex marriage" create a legal fiction. The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible.

Should the lame duck legislature or the new Assembly take up the passage of a "same-sex marriage" law, it will be acting against the common good of society. We will all have to pretend to accept something that is contrary to the common sense of the human race.

We're sure this has made a big difference in the large Catholic community in Illinois.

• Effective information and instructions for activists from IFI

IFI put together some of the most effective information and instructions for activists and citizens to use, that we've seen. It's clear, bold, and gets to the heart of the matter.

□  Homosexual faux marriage and public education

□  Same-sex 'marriage' talking points

□  Approving Same-Sex Marriage Harmful to Children

□  Questions to ask your lawmakers

□  Notice for church bulletins

It's a refreshing change from the wimpy, often logically incoherent stuff that comes from a lot of pro-family groups. We think this has helped a lot.

• Aggressive robo-calls

Thousands of people across Illinois, and particularly in key South Chicago districts, were aggressively informed that their legislators needed to hear from immediately on this issue. Much of this was paid for by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), though other groups also were involved.

Here's one example of what people heard from Family PAC. This is the voice of Sandy Rios, a popular pro-family activist and Chicago radio personality:

          Listen to robo-call HERE

• Major events around the state to educate Illinois pastors

This was a big boost. In early February, IFI held three successful events to bring pastors into the fight. In South Chicago 125 pastors showed up. The second, in Peoria, attracted 60 pastors. Then, in Collinsville, 100 pastors came. From this grew a very a powerful and energized force in this fight, spreading to more churches.

• Huge statewide "Defend Marriage Lobby Day" at State House

On Wednesday, February 20, nearly 5,000 people from across the state converged on the Illinois State House for the Defend Marriage Lobby Day. It was the largest such gathering there in memory. By 1 pm that afternoon all 4,000 of the marriage buttons had been given out. The crowd was so big that the Fire Marshall closed the Capitol, leaving many standing in the 19-degree weather outside. (So those outside held their own rally!)

The line outside the State House went for blocks!

Inside - the halls were completely packed. The Fire Marshall
finally had to keep anyone else from coming in.

IFI had the lobbying effort well organized.

Outside, those who couldn't get in held their own rally!

The lobbying inside was very well organized by IFI and very effective. There is no question that this made a huge impression on the legislators there.

See IFI write-up of Marriage Lobby Day event.

See more photos on IFI Facebook page

Outrageously, NONE of the Chicago TV stations or newspapers reported on this giant event at all, though they all knew about it and their State House reporters were there! It's unbelievable, but that's the incredible bias of the liberal press. See IFI's commentary of the press blackout.

WATCH VIDEO by IFI of Defend Marriage Lobby Day.
Here's what the Chicago TV stations didn't show!

• Thousands of MassResistance same-sex "marriage" booklets distributed

Citizens across Illinois are finding out just how horribly "gay marriage" will likely affect their state if this passes.

IFI printed over 9,000 copies of the MassResistance booklet, "What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts." In addition, they've printed 5,000 copies of the booklet in Spanish for the Hispanic churches. Plus, MassResistance has sent over 1,000 copies to activists and pastors in Illinois.

IFI also made sure that every state legislator received at least one copy. IFI's Dave Smith said that lawmakers have thanked him for the booklets. "Thank you for sending me that. I had no clue!" one legislator told him.

It is opening a lot of eyes, we've been told.

(After the Defend Marriage Lobby Day, our office received even more calls from across Illinois asking for copies of our booklet.)

• Aggressive lobbying of House members by pastors & congregations

Enormous credit must be given to church leaders and their congregations across the state for stepping up and confronting their state legislators on this bill. In meetings, town hall events, phone calls, and emails, legislators have gotten the message loud and clear. The sheer numbers of pro-family people cannot be matched by the homosexual activists. We've been told that many legislators have never seen this kind of outpouring before.

Pastors brought a black ex-lesbian to the State House who talked to several legislators, letting them know that people aren't "born that way." Many legislators had never met an ex-gay, or even knew that such people existed.

The black and Hispanic pastors have been especially effective. On Thursday, March 7, over 200 went to the State House. When a legislator who's not voting pro-family gets surrounded by 30-40 of his angry constituents, we were told, he gets the message pretty quickly! In addition, the fact that there's a big difference between civil rights and sexual behavior was made loud and clear. (That same day, the homosexual presence in the Capitol consisted of two Washington DC lobbyists in the Speaker's office trying to shake down a few House members. Which do you think had the most direct impact?)

Busses came from all over the state!

What will happen next?

The next week or two could determine what happens to this bill. Will it pass the House and get signed by the Governor (who has promised to sign it) or will it fall by the wayside?

Technically, it's still "alive" for quite a while. This session closes on May 31, then re-opens in November 2013 until May 31, 2014. It re-opens again in November 2014 for a lame-duck session until early January 2015. A vote could theoretically take place any time through then. But the sense is that if the the pro-gay forces can't get the necessary support in the next few weeks, their momentum will start to collapse and their only real chance will be to try to drum it up again in the 2014 lame-duck session.

Of course, the fear is always that in Barack Obama's home state no tactic is too low or out of bounds. It could still slip through. But the pro-family people have promised they're going to be on top of this every minute.

On paper, our side should win this. The other side had fully expected to muscle this through easily, then ran into a pro-family buzz-saw!  We'll keep you informed.

Outside the State Capitol. Supporting marriage in the Land of Lincoln.